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"Angela Morley was a respected colleague and valued friend for over forty years. She was certainly one of the finest musicians I've ever known or worked with. As an orchestrator, her skill was unsurpassed, with a technical perfection that was drawn on and nourished by a lifelong devotion to music. She will be irreplaceable and greatly missed."
―John Williams, on working with Angela Morley[3]

Angela Morley (March 10, 1924January 4, 2009) was a British composer and conductor. In 1974, she became the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Academy Award.

Morley served as an additional orchestrator for the original trilogy films Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back but remains uncredited due to contractual obligations. For A New Hope specifically, Morley orchestrated the cue "The Last Battle" for the Death Star trench run scenes. Over the years, Morley became a frequent collaborator of Star Wars composer John Williams, working as an orchestrator on many of his subsequent film scores.

Biography[]

"Do you know the scene in Star Wars where Luke goes down into the Death Star trench and the voice says 'Use the Force, Luke?' That's my orchestration."
―Angela Morley[4]

Angela Morley was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England on March 10, 1924.[1] As an adult, Morley was a composer and conductor.[2] In 1974, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Music for her work on the film The Little Prince, making her the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Academy Award.[5] Morley was a collaborator and friend of fellow composer and orchestrator Herbert W. Spencer and met Star Wars composer John Williams through him, attending several of Williams' recording sessions at Denham Studios in England for[6] the 1977 original trilogy film,[7] Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Williams personally asked Morley to orchestrate for the film, an opportunity that she considered an honor.[6]

Morley's orchestration played during a pivotal portion of the Death Star trench run sequence in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

Spencer and Morley went on to collaborate throughout the production of A New Hope in 1977. Morley and all other additional orchestrators for A New Hope remain uncredited in the film and all subsequent album releases of the film's music. Spencer, as principal orchestrator, is the only individual to receive an orchestration credit on the film due to contractual agreements.[6] Morley's orchestration of the cue 12m1 "The Last Battle,"[8] which plays during the Death Star trench run toward the end of A New Hope, starting from Red Leader Garven Dreis' death until the rebels' departure from the successfully destroyed Death Star,[7] was her only publicly revealed contribution.[5] Additionally, she provided uncredited orchestration for[2] the 1980 film[9] Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.[2] Morley passed away on January 4, 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona in the United States.[2]

Filmography[]

Year Score Contribution Notes
1977 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope[7] Additional orchestrator[6] Uncredited[7]
1980 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back[9] Uncredited[9]

Discography[]

Year Title Contribution(s) Notes
1977[10] Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope soundtrack[11] Additional orchestrator[6] Uncredited[11]
1980[12] Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack[13] Uncredited[13]
1993[14] Star Wars Trilogy: The Original Soundtrack Anthology[15] Uncredited[15]
2016[16] Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection[17] Uncredited[17]
Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Edition[18] Uncredited[18]
Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection[19] Uncredited[19]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Angela Morley. BAFTA. Archived from the original on October 15, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Diamond, Robert: Emmy Winning and Oscar Nominated Arranger Angela Morley Passes Away at 84 (2009-01-18). BroadwayWorld. Archived from the original on January 27, 2021.
  3. Burlingame, Jon: Angela Morley Dies at 84 (2009-01-19). filmmusicsociety.org. The Film Music Society. Archived from the original on April 12, 2014.
  4. LaFave, Kenneth: Angela Morley (2000-07-16). Jazz Professional. The Arizona Republic. Archived from the original on January 25, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Betancourt, Manuel: Angela Morley: The Story Behind the Two-Time Oscar-Nominated Trans Composer (2017-11-20). huffpost.com. The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on February 11, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Dubowsky, Jack Curtis. Intersecting Film, Music, and Queerness. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2016. ISBN 9781137454218.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  8. Augie: Angela Morley about Arranging for John Williams on Star Wars (2012-04-17). John Williams Fan Network. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  10. John Williams, The London Symphony Orchestra – Star Wars. Discogs. Archived from the original.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope soundtrack
  12. John Williams, The London Symphony Orchestra – Star Wars / The Empire Strikes Back. Discogs. Archived from the original.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back soundtrack
  14. John Williams, The London Symphony Orchestra – Star Wars Trilogy (The Original Soundtrack Anthology). Discogs. Archived from the original.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Star Wars Trilogy: The Original Soundtrack Anthology
  16. StarWars.com Sony Classical to Release Ultimate Editions of Original Star Wars Soundtracks on StarWars.com (backup link)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Star Wars: The Ultimate Digital Collection
  18. 18.0 18.1 Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Edition
  19. 19.0 19.1 Star Wars: The Ultimate Vinyl Collection

External links[]

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